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Celebrate nature and take part in National Nature Reserves Week

A chance to get outdoors with nature with free activities at our National Nature Reserves – from wildlife walks and birdwatching to a day at the movies!

Later this month, the beauty and variety of English landscapes and the wildlife they support will be celebrated through National Nature Reserves (NNR) Week. And everyone is being encouraged to get out there are find inspiration through nature!

To honour the invaluable contribution of NNRs to our natural heritage, Natural England, in collaboration with local conservation partners, has curated a line-up of events that promise to captivate nature enthusiasts of all ages. From guided walks through lush meadows teeming with wildflowers to birdwatching expeditions along scenic coastal cliffs, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are for everybody, whatever your connection with nature is. Whether you connect through wildlife, wellbeing, faith, friendship, culture, or the arts, experience the spirit of NNRs this National Nature Reserves Week.

NNRs were established to protect some of our most important habitats, species, and geology, and to provide ‘outdoor laboratories’ for research. They are central to the future of nature recovery in this country. As well as offering a sanctuary to a variety of flora and fauna while providing invaluable ecosystem services.

In the South East, highlights include events at Chobham Common, where you’ll be able to go back in history and discover the rich heritage of the NNR including a former medieval fish-growing pond. You may even get to spot some of the UK’s rarest wildlife, including birds like the Dartford warbler, the woodlark and a nocturnal bird steeped in folklore, the nightjar. And if that isn’t enough, you can even join the local warden on his trip to the movies, where you get to explore film and TV locations, and there are a lot!

These are just some of the events taking place and you can find out more about all of the events at www.NNRweek.com.  All events are free, but booking is needed for some of them.

South East events and activities include:

Chobham Common history walk – 22 May, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Join us for a fascinating history walk during National Nature Reserves Week led by Chobham Common Preservation Society. Your guide has a wealth of local knowledge to share, and you’ll visit a miscellany of locations you might otherwise miss while walking on the common. Discover the rich heritage of this beautiful location while exploring its natural wonders, from a former medieval fish-growing pond to a Bronze Age barrow via a mysterious earthwork.

Celebrating Chobham Common – 25 May, 9.30am to 3pm

Join Steve and Nicky from the Thames Basin Heath Partnership to find out more about the amazing history and wildlife of Chobham Common.

The largest National Nature Reserve in the South East, Chobham Common is a wonderful example of lowland heath, the most threatened UK habitat and home to some of the UK’s rarest wildlife, including birds like the Dartford warbler, the woodlark and a nocturnal bird steeped in folklore, the nightjar. It’s also one of the best British sites for insects, ladybirds, bees and wasps. For the history enthusiasts there are a number of scheduled features, providing an insight into Chobham’s fascinating past.

Exploring film and TV locations at Chobham Common - 26 May, 10am to 12.30pm

And now for something completely different. Join warden Steve on his Trip to the Movies…and a bit of TV…as he explores film and TV locations at Chobham Common National Nature Reserve. From Dad’s Army and Carry on Cowboy, to early 2000s science-fiction series Primeval and more recently, Taboo. There are so many to mention! An absolute must!

Chilterns Walking Festival at Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve - 29 May, 10.15am to 1.30pm

On this 1.5 - mile walk, we will learn all about red kites’ reintroduction as they dive above us; why our junipers are so special; how we’ve addressed ash die-back on site, and why we love our yellow meadow ants! We’ll finish the walk off with hot drinks and locally sourced cake, back at the main office.

A Walk With Porpoise (Dungeness NNR, Kent) – 25 May, 2pm

A guided walk in the closest landscape to a desert in the UK looking out into the English Channel – its unique, its surreal and one of contrasts which will give you unforgettable memories.

Dungeness NNR is one of the busiest nature reserves in the country for people and yet it was one of the richest as well for wildlife. A paradox in itself – a gentle stroll across the pebbles to enjoy the views to the white cliffs of Dover and out across the English Channel, the lighthouses, the mini train and the fascinating desert liking wildlife hugging this harsh landscape.

Dragonflies and Butterflies of Dungeness Workshop – Dungeness NNR – Kent – 29 May, 9.30am to 12pm

An event designed to give you all the knowledge about the different species of butterflies and dragonflies and how to identify them.

Did you know that RSPB Dungeness is one of the most diverse places in the UK for insects?

Led by a knowledgeable volunteer, you will start in our visitor centre where they will take you through a presentation detailing all there is to know about the common butterflies and dragonflies as well as the rarities you might see at Dungeness. From there you will go out on to the reserve to see what you can find and put what you have learnt into practise.

BioBlitz at Kingley Vale NNR – West Sussex – 29 May, All day

Celebrate NNR Week and help us identify all the amazing creatures that call our NNR home.

We are running a BioBlitz event allowing members of the public to come down and explore our mysterious entangled landscape and discover all the amazingly diverse creatures that call it home.

Wildlife CSI: Murder on the Marsh (Stodmarsh NNR, Kent) – 31 May, 11:30am-12:30pm and 2:00-3:00pm (two sessions and two different killers, so no spoilers!)

There has been a murder at Stodmarsh NNR! Can you follow the clues and find the Killer?

Put your detective skills to the test and help us solve the murder mystery on the reserve! Learn more about our ecosystem and work together by gathering evidence to help us identify the killer before they strike again! Who will it be???

Centuries old Yew tree at Kingley Vale NNR


Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/celebrate-nature-and-take-part-in-national-nature-reserves-week

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